NRL news, Dragons coach Anthony Griffin, contract extension, 2022 team

NRL

St George Illawarra has announced a contract extension for coach Anthony Griffin, bizarrely before a ball has even been kicked this year.

Many sane rugby league pundits would have placed Griffin among the group of NRL coaches under pressure to perform or be sacked in 2022.

The Dragons won four of their opening five games last season, but then won four of their next 19 to slide down the ladder and eventually finish 11th.

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It was another dismal campaign for a club that has played finals once in the last six years.

Griffin’s job was thought to be under threat, but the Red V have moved to end speculation early this year by activating a third season in his contract.

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The news ties Griffin to the gig until the end of 2023. Although everyone understands NRL contracts often aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

“We are heading in the right direction, and myself and all the great people at the club are determined to play our roles in bringing future success to the Dragons,” Griffin said in a statement.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far and I’m excited by what’s to come this season and beyond.

“The challenge of a new year starts this weekend in our first trial against Parramatta, and my immediate focus remains on a strong preparation for the upcoming season.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Dragons had up until August to decide on activating the contract clause, but the board opted to pull the trigger before seeing the team perform.

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